04 January 2007

Take a Look; It's in a Book...

“Mister Magnolia has only one boot…Mister Magnolia goes for a scoot…he has an old trumpet that goes rooty-toot…”

This is what I’ve retained of the first book I remember loving—Mister Magnolia, written and illustrated by Quentin Blake. Mr. Mag certainly wasn’t my first book, but it was so well loved, that I think I wore it out. (And only recently replaced by tracking down a reprint from overseas—yes, it’s that good.)

“Do you remember the magic of your first book?” is the question asked by FirstBook, a non-profit created in 1992 to instill this same nostalgia for early literacy in low-income children.

FirstBook has made its mission to “transform the quality of preschool and after school programs” by providing new books to children who don’t know the luxury and excitement of leaving Barnes & Noble with a bagful of pristine, un-cracked books.

They’ve given away more than 40 million books in the last 15 years, and their website does a great job of showing the different ways you can get involved in the project. For example, Book Relief is a project to donate books to the Gulf Coast to replace what Katrina and Rita took away. And be sure to visit The Literacy Site, where every click of your mouse helps fund books for kids.

Maybe even the magical Mister Magnolia.


1 comment:

hildy said...

hmmm, gotta get that book. my daughter, her brother's twin, is named Magnolia. :)